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Team Q&A: 7 Questions with our UX Designer, Kate

Evolving the online training experience for our customers is why we think Kate’s work as our UX designer is MAGIC! Find out why in her team QA!

23 Feb 2021 by Ariel Jehwo-Malcolm

A lover of nature, flat whites, and creating experiences that surprise and delight, our UX designer Kate is a wonder. With a killer instinct for creating user experiences, Kate brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. Kate chatted with us about what it’s like evolving our product experience and how she unwinds in her off time.

1. Let’s start with the basics - what is UX and how does that apply to your role at Coassemble?

User Experience (UX) is understanding how people move through a product - generally a website or an app - and designing that experience in a way that is fun, intuitive, and clear. The best part is being able to design in functionality that delights the user and makes their day a little easier.

In my role, I start with an idea or a problem, then delve into some research. I try to understand the user needs from a few different angles, such as looking at customer convos in Intercom or talking to our CS team who is on the ‘frontline’ with our customers. Then I'll usually start sketching - I love old-school pen to paper - followed by creating a simple digital prototype to look at the functionality and test the feel of it.

Our team is really collaborative - which I love - so once a basic idea is there, we get together and talk through all the nuances before it gets the refinement from the UI team to suit our aesthetic, and then onto the development team to work their magic!

2. So, I know you’ve been working hard on our biggest product update yet, what are some of the current issues in the Coassemble app that will be improved with the new update?

Yes, it's been a huge project for the whole Product and Dev team! The biggest improvement is that everything can be edited from one page without having to dive into too many layers of navigation. That will be a big win for being able to see your course contents list in the sidebar and edit a lesson screen on the right-hand side.

We're also moving towards having all of our templates editable inline, which means that what you're editing is really close to the final design. This will make the quizzes and lessons much more fun to create.

Also, it was previously quite laborious to Publish your content - now you can do that all in one spot and don't have to go into each individual module.

3. What are you excited about the most in the new product update?

So much! I love that everything you need to build a course is now accessible from the one page - so we've taken out a lot of the back and forth between screens that used to be there. One feature I'm pretty fond of is the screen selector pop-up - where our customers can choose from 30 different layouts to build a lesson. We've added a description and icons for each template, so you can quickly see which one would suit your content.

Our UI designers, Scott Kirkman and Sam Blomley, have worked on some really cool animations to bring this screen selector to life! It makes it super easy to know how your content will end up looking - taking out a lot of the guesswork that was previously there, and making course building much faster.

4. I understand you’ve been conducting Coassemble’s first round of internal testing by our customers. Tell me a little bit about connecting with our customers. Were there any particularly interesting insights you discovered on those calls?

Yes, that was super fun! I set up some interviews with a few of our customers to show them a prototype of the new course builder and get their feedback. They completed a few 'missions' in the app so I could get an idea of their workflow. It really helped to validate our ideas and get some great feedback on things we can improve. For me it was super insightful to hear the variety of what each customer uses Coassemble for - we have some really cool use cases such as creating courses for diversity and inclusion training, to grassroots enterprises helping entrepreneurs, to boutique lighting companies! Shows how adaptable the platform can be.

5. What are you looking forward to the most regarding the future of the Coassemble app?

We have a really exciting few months ahead of us, where we are introducing a Product Experience on our website. So now anyone can check out Coassemble, have a little play around with creating a course, and if they like what they see, they can jump straight into the full-featured app. We have lots of opportunity to experiment with the look and feel of this, which I’m looking forward to.

6. When you’re not working, what do you like to spend time doing?

I'm pretty low-key outside of work! But I try to be outside as much as possible after spending a week in front of the screen. Whether that be bushwalking, camping, riding to the beach/pub for a catch-up with friends, sipping flat whites somewhere delicious, or some very amateur gardening... we also have a pottery wheel at home which I'm keen to get stuck into before it collects too much dust!

7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

It would have to be time travel - I'd love to go back to a few different eras and see what life was like back then, or even just relive a few really great holidays!

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